|Singletary conducts first Wednesday briefing
|Mike Singletary talked to the media, just moments before hitting the field for the first time for the team's walk-through.
Singletary entered the cramped room off the team's practice field that is used for Wednesday morning press briefings. He had no prepared statements. He fielded questions immediately.
He said it's a little strange not to have Mike Nolan in the building. He said being named interim head coach is humbling. Singletary promised to take the team to the "next level."
When asked about "the next level," Singletary did not define it. He said the club will stress the details that are needed to make a difference. He said he thought onlookers would see a difference.
Last night, Singletary got the coaches together. This morning, he met with the players. "To me, the most important thing is to reset the agenda and vision," Singletary said.
When asked about what kind of role he'll have in the offense, Singletary said he has full confidence in Mike Martz. Singletary chuckled when he talked about the interaction between the two men yesterday. Singletary went to speak to Martz about some things.
"What do you want to talk about? Why do you want to talk about that?" Those are the words Martz said to Singletary, according to Singletary. It wasn't entirely clear whether Martz was being as defensive as it sounded or if there was any humor involved.
Singletary said Martz told him the most important thing was to move forward together. "Mike, you're the guy, so let's go get it," Martz told Singletary.
When asked about how a defensive coach prepares for the game- and clock-management parts of the game, Singletary said this is something for which he's been preparing for a long time. He spends his offseason talking to coaches and referees, he said.
"I'm confident everything will go smooth," Singletary said.
Singletary talked about the defensive coaches all contributing to the game plan. He said he looked at the game plans last night for the upcoming Seattle game, and he's confident in what the team will be doing.
Is the team a 3-4 or 4-3? Singletary said, "We'll see at game time. We're schizophrenic. We don't know what we do."
When asked whether he's going to make it a priority to get younger players on the field - such as Kentwan Balmer and Chilo Rachal - Singletary said he'll do whatever it takes to win. "We just need to play better."
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INJURY REPORT: DE Ray McDonald (knee) and S Dashon Goldson (knee) are both out for this week's game with injuries sustained Sunday against the Giants. To be ruled out this early in the week would seem to suggest these are injuries that will keep them out a while.
Also, T Jonas Jennings (shoulder), S Michael Lewis (knee), WR Josh Morgan (groin), S Mark Roman (groin) and RS Allen Rossum (groin) will not practice today. All but Jennings are expected to be available for Sunday's game. (Walt Harris will also not practice, but he's fine.) And CB Nate Clements (ribs) will see limited work, but he should be good to go for the game.
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Holmgren shares thoughts on 49ers situation
|Seattle coach Mike Holmgren was patched through to the media trailer for his conference call. His first words: "It's kind of wild down there."
When asked for reaction on what happened with the 49ers this week, Holmgren said, "You know, Mike Nolan is a good guy. He's a friend of mine. I don't like the in-season stuff. That shouldn't shock anybody. That's my profession, and it's hard. I know his family and it's his heart. I wish him well."
Q: You obviously know Scot McCloughan well, too. What kind of relationship do you have with him?
Holmgren: With Scotty? Or, Scot, I should say now. He's an executive. . . . I have a good relationship with Scot, I believe. He was really a very competent, hard-working personnel guy when he was with me. And he's really a good guy.
Q: Did it surprise you that Scot felt compelled to do that to the guy who hired him?
Holmgren: You don't know what actually goes into something like that. Ownership has to be involved, executives have to be involved. Exactly how it came down . . . I'm sure Scot had to be the one to do it. I don't know the details, so I wouldn't comment on it.
Q: What do you know about Mike Singletary?
Holmgren: I know he was a great player. He was still playing for the Bears when I was coaching in Green Bay. And I don't know him very well, personally. But what I've read about him and heard about him from people who do know him well, he's like the best guy there ever was. He's a quality human being, and a very intense, bright guy. It's interesting when you have the great, great, great players like Mike was, who choose to go into coaching, it's interesting to me. Because coaching isn't as glamorous as being the star football player. But clearly he wants to do this, and now he gets his crack at it.
Q: I'm sure you'll be flattered to find out your held in very high regard in the Bay Area. And when all this stuff happens, a lot of people are talking about you, knowing this is last year last in Seattle. What are your feelings about landing with the 49ers at some point in the future?
Holmgren: When I was at high school, at Lincoln High School, and for years, that was my dream job and it never quite came to fruition. But times change and right now, I think it's been stated and I stated it to my own guys (beat reporters) for the 27th time, the plan for me and Kath(y) is to take a year off after this time in Seattle. We've been here 10 years, and we love it here, and that's the plan. More importantly, right now, I have to figure out a way to beat the 49ers. So that's first and foremost. While I'm flattered - we have a lot of friends in the Bay Area - that's the plan right now.
Q: Can you ever envision at some point coming to the 49ers in some capacity?
Holmgren: Well, you know what, if it's OK with you guys, I'm going to refrain from commenting on that. I think it would be unfair to a lot of people, Mike Singletary, being one. It's too much of a hypothetical. Things in this crazy business change on a day-to-day basis. I'm going to remain fairly consistent with that, if it's OK. I'm not going to get into it.
Q: You may have addressed this one 27 times, too, but how are you going to spend that year off?
Holmgren: Well, I'm going to ride my motorcycle a little bit. I'm going to hang out at the beach a little bit. We're building a new home in Santa Cruz, so we're looking forward to that. I have six grandkids now, believe it or not, two little grandsons finally came. All the things that I haven't been able to do for the last 40 years or so. . . Bill Walsh, I remember him saying when we were in training camp at Rocklin one year. We're sitting around the table at 11 o'clock at night, you know, drinking bottled water. He said, 'You know, I understand, I really hear August is a pretty nice month.' The point was, we live a different life. So we'll see how it goes the next year.
Q: I didn't know they had bottled water in those days.
Holmgren: Well, maybe it wasn't . . . maybe it was lemonade.
Q: Did it have a cork in the top of the bottle?
Holmgren: I know this, with Bill, it was not a twist-off cap.
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Interesting Day 2 press conference with Mike Singletary
|When it comes to his offense, Mike Martz is as protective as that squirrel from "Ice Age" is with his acorn - no one touches it but him. Mike Singletary learned that lesson yesterday. Asked today at his 10:45 a.m. press conference how much influence he'll have on the offensive side of the ball going forward, Singletary said this:
"I'll put it this way - Mike Martz is very proud of his offense. And I went in yesterday to talk to him and we were going to talk about a couple of things, and he said, "Well, what do you want to talk about?" Why do you want to talk about that?" But we had fun going through that, and I'm enjoying him and we had another conversation last night. ...
Over the first seven games of the season, Mike Nolan gave Martz carte blanche to run the offense as he saw fit. And it was Martz on Monday who convinced Nolan to stick with J.T. O'Sullivan at quarterback. It seems that Singletary also will give Martz plenty of room to operate. But he also held open the possibility of reining Martz in as he sees fit.
"I trust him to do the things he has to do. And the bottom line is that I have full confidence in Mike Martz and his staff going forward ...I think the bottom line is that if I feel that something needs to be a little changed or adjusted or whatever, then I will meet with Mike and we'll talk about it and we'll go from there. But other than that, I think Mike is a great coach. I feel very fortunate to have him."
There have been lots of questions over the last two days about why Singletary, not Martz, was tapped as interim head coach. The official word from the front office is that Martz has his hands full directing a new offense and a first-time starting quarterback. Another view (mine) is that McCloughan never wanted him in the first place. Remember last year when Martz's name first surfaced as a possibility? McCloughan dismissed it outright at the time, saying that Martz's style did not fit the personnel McCloughan had been a.ssembling over the past three seasons.
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